13 Jul The importance of welfare facilities on a construction site in summer
Summer health and safety tips and why on-site welfare facilities are essential
As summer approaches, it is important to think about welfare on site and how the hotter weather can impact health and safety.
With a lower chance of rain – and no snow or ice to contend with – summer might seem like an ideal time for many construction projects to go ahead. But, even in the best weather conditions, construction workers can still face certain risks.
Working in hot conditions can be dangerous for anyone, but the risk is naturally higher for construction workers who are typically doing physical jobs outside.
It is essential that employers have safety policies in place to keep their workers safe during the hot weather. On site welfare facilities are also a vital feature of the construction site, at any point of the year.
In this article we’ll look at the risks of working on a construction site in summer, as well as providing some useful summer health and safety tips…
Identifying the risks to welfare, on site, in summer
Whatever season, it is always vital to maintain onsite safety standards. However, working on a construction site in very warm weather brings a couple of additional risks:
- Heat stroke or heat exhaustion
Heat stroke poses a major risk to construction workers who operate outdoors. UV radiation hits outdoor workers in far higher quantities compared to indoor workers.
Heat stroke can set in suddenly, with no warning. Heat stroke occurs when your body cannot cool itself down enough – you may feel dizzy, nauseous, have a headache, and you may start sweating a lot.
If you experience these symptoms, it is essential to drink some water and move to a cooler environment – another reason it is important to have suitable welfare facilities on a construction site. Drinking an electrolyte drink can also help to rebalance lost fluids, but if the symptoms persist then you must seek medical treatment.
Sunburn can arise if workers have long exposure to the sun and do not use an adequate SPF. For severe burns, medical treatment may be required.
Dehydration is likely to occur if workers do not replenish their fluid levels during the day. A supply of fresh water is mandatory on site.
- Visual disturbances
The glare of the sun can reduce visibility and increase the risk of accidents. Sunglasses or other shaded eyewear will help reduce the glare. Again, if you feel dizzy or light-headed, seek shade and take a break to hydrate.
Summer health and safety tips for construction sites
With all of the above in mind, when the temperatures rise it is advised that construction workers should:
- avoid working alone
- work in areas that are less exposed to the sun, whenever possible
- prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water
- reduce physical workload in favour of mechanised processes, where possible
- choose breathable work clothes that allow evaporation of sweat
- avoid working in areas of the site with direct sun exposure
- take regular recovery breaks in the shade – a welfare unit with rest area is ideal
What welfare facilities are required on a construction site?
UK law states that clients and contractors have a responsibility to provide appropriate welfare facilities on a construction site. The type and scale of facilities will depend on the size, location and type of project. As a rule, on site facilities must include:
- Washing facilities
- Drinking water
- Changing rooms and lockers
- Facilities for rest and dining
For more detailed information about the requirements, please visit the Health & Safety Executive’s website.
Helping to maintain welfare on site this summer
We have a wide range of mobile and static welfare units and other temporary accommodation that are ideal for construction sites.
Our mobile and static cabins are a convenient solution to providing welfare facilities on a construction site in any season. Our range includes:
- office facilities – in 12, 16 and 20’ sizes for 4-10 people
- mobile work stores
- security cabins
- overnight sleeping cabins – for 1-3 people
- 12’ mobile welfare unit – toilet plus drying, resting and dining facilities for 6-8 people
- 16’ mobile welfare unit – toilet plus drying, resting and dining facilities for up to 12 people
- 20’ mobile welfare unit – toilet plus drying, resting and dining facilities for up to 16 people
- separate toilet units
- mobile showers and bathrooms
All of our welfare units fully comply with UK health and safety laws and guidelines.
Choose us for on site welfare facilities, all-year round
At EasyCabin, we’re proud to provide a range of quality welfare units and construction site accommodation that will cater to the needs of your project and team.
If you’d like some advice about the optimum configuration of units to provide welfare on site for your construction project, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01582 310706. A member of our friendly, expert team will be happy to answer your questions and provide guidance based on your particular project.